Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Thursday, October 13, 2016

More Book Reviews

Flyer for Lashon HaKodesh: History, Holiness, & Hebrew by Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein
Here are some more book reviews from around the web about my book Lashon HaKodesh: History, Holiness, & Hebrew (Mosaica Press, 2015)
Gideon Shaked writes at On Jewish Matters magazine:
Lashon HaKodesh by Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein is a fascinating journey into Jewish history just as much that it is a linguistics book and a philosophical interpretation to biblical events. It connects between historical events, the language which was spoken at the time of the event, the impact of the language on the event, and the impact of the event on the language.Lashon Hakodesh is the communication link between the Jewish people and G-DIt is the language in which the Hebrew Bible was written. The Modern Hebrew language is based on Lashon Hakodesh. However, the religious Jewish community makes a distinction between the two: Modern Hebrew is used for general communication. Lashon Hakodesh is dedicated for prayer and study...
I was educated in the Israeli public system, which for most students, is a secular education system. Bible study is mandatory in Israel. However, it is taught as history lesson in most Israeli public schools. Reading the book opened my eyes not only to the conflicting interpretations, but also to the significance of this topic in Judaism, and to the evolution of the discussion throughout history. I learned the Bible in school, however, until reading this book, I was not aware of the significance of Lashon Hakodesh to the Jewish religious community. I had no idea how much time and effort was dedicated, by some of the greatest minds of the Jewish people throughout history, to answering questions such as where Lashon Hakodesh came from, who spoke it, when it was spoken, and why it was spoken. Reading the book opened a window into a part of Judaism I didn’t know existed.
Rabbi Gil Student at the Jewish Action writes:
In an exhilarating journey through history, Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein describes the progression from Adam (the first Hebrew speaker) to the Chazon Ish (who offered legitimacy to yeshivot that teach in Modern Hebrew), from the Tower of Babel’s linguistic destruction to Eliezer Ben-Yehudah’s linguistic victory. This masterful work weaves together midrash, Medieval philosophy, modern rabbinic commentary and a light touch of academia to create a traditionalist history of Hebrew. 
With his feet firmly planted in rabbinic thought, Rabbi Klein fleshes out a theory of a holy language, corrupted at times by outside influence, replaced at times by other languages like Aramaic and Greek, and finally transformed into Modern Hebrew that has only been reluctantly adopted by religious Jews.Rabbi Klein sees history through a rabbinic lens but does not resort to harmonizing different views in order to present a single approach. What language did Adam speak? Rabbi Klein places six different opinions before the reader, covering a remarkably broad base of rabbinic texts. This book is a readable encyclopedia of rabbinic views on the Hebrew language and much more!

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